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Posts Tagged ‘Parmigiana’

Parmigiana di Melanzane e Pepperoni con Prosciutto di Parma

We love this Italian dish that bursts with summer flavours. It takes a while to prepare but the rich flavours are really rewarding and it is straightforward to prepare. You will need a big dish as this is a generous portion for 6 but it makes delicious lunchbox leftovers. Kids like it chopped up a bit and stirred through pasta too. Serve with a green salad and you will definitely need bread to help clean your plates.

You can assemble the dish up to a day in advance and bake for 40 to 45 minutes when ready to serve.

Wine Suggestion: this is a robust dish and needs an equally robust and fresh red wine to match. Our choice tonight was made by an old friend Laura, the Gianni Brunelli Rosso di Montalcino; fresh youthful and elegant and yet with a powerful backbone.

Parmigiana di Melanzane e Peperoni con Prosciutto di Parma – serves 6

  • 4 red peppers
  • 2 aubergines
  • 1 onion
  • 1 carrot, peeled
  • 1 stick of celery
  • 2 large garlic cloves
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 1½ x 700g jars passata or sugocasa
  • 3 tbsp fresh chopped herbs including parsley, tarragon and chives if possible
  • 2 good handfuls of basil leaves, torn
  • 140g prosciutto
  • 140g Parmesan
  • 3 x 100g balls mozzarella

Preheat the oven to 200C/Gas 6/fan 180C.

Put the peppers onto a baking sheet and cook for 45 minutes or until the skins are soft and blackened in places.

Trim the ends of the aubergines and slice them lengthways into 1cm thick slices. Put the aubergines in a colander and sprinkle generously with salt. Put a saucer on top and weight down with a tin of tomatoes (or something similar). Leave for about 20 minutes.

Remove the roasted peppers from the oven and either put them into a bowl covered with cling film or into individual sealed sandwich bags to cool for 20 minutes or so.

To make the sauce, peel and chop the onion and roughly chop the carrot and celery stick. Whizz these in a food processor until finely chopped. Crush the garlic on a board with some salt.

Heat 1 tbsp of the oil in a large frying pan. Cook the carrot and celery mixture for a few minutes or until softened but not browned. Add the garlic and cook for another minute, then add the passata. Simmer the sauce for 10 minutes until thickened. Stir in the chopped herbs and basil leaves. Season to taste and set aside.

Brush the aubergine slices with the rest of the oil and cook in batches on a griddle pan for 3 to 4 minutes on each side or until softened and browned (you can cook under a grill if you haven’t got a griddle pan).

Lay all of the slices of prosciutto together on a board, then slice finely. Finely grate the parmesan and slice each mozzarella ball into 6.

When the peppers are cool enough to handle, remove and discard the stalks and seeds. The blackened skins should also peel off easily. Slice the peppers into rough strips

To assemble the dish begin by spreading a layer of sauce over the base of a large casserole dish or roasting tin. Layer half the aubergines, a third of the mozzarella and a third of the prosciutto on top. Follow this with another third of the mozzarella, a third of the grated Parmesan and prosciutto and another handful of basil leaves.

Spoon over half of the remaining tomato sauce and top with all of the peppers. Layer over the rest of the mozzarella, prosciutto, aubergine and another third of the Parmesan.

Finally spoon over the rest of the sauce and finish with the remaining Parmesan and a drizzle of oil. Bake for 30-35 minutes or until browned and bubbling. Remove from the oven and allow to sit for 5 minutes before serving.

(Original recipe by Valentina Harris in BBC Good Food Magazine, January 2001.)

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Chicken parmigiana

This is an absolute crowd pleaser and should please most children and other fussy eaters. It is easy but there are  a few steps so leave yourself plenty of time. We liked this way more than we expected to! Good with garlic bread and a big salad.

Wine Suggestion: you mustn’t overwhelm this dish with a heavy, powerful wine. It can have character though and the youthful Rocca delle Macie Chianti Vernaiolo was a good match. Unoaked and fruit driven this is a lighter red and all freshness and vitality. Other alternatives that work are light Pinot Noir, Gamay or Barbera.

Chicken Parmigiana – serves 4 (generously)

  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, finely chop 2 and peel the other
  • 100ml red wine
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 x 400g tin chopped tomatoes
  • 4 chicken breasts (ask your butcher to butterfly if possible)
  • 100g plain flour
  • 2 eggs beaten
  • 75g Parmesan, grated
  • 75g breadcrumbs
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • pinch sugar (optional)
  • 2 balls mozzarella, sliced
  • handful fresh basil leaves

Start by making the sauce. Heat a tablespoon of olive oil in a saucepan and fry the onion until soft and translucent, then add the chopped garlic. Cook for another couple of minutes, then add the red wine. Allow to bubble until the wine is reduced by about half, then add the oregano and tomatoes and season well with salt and black pepper. Bring to the boil, then cover with a lid and simmer gently for 10 minutes. Taste the sauce at this point and season with a pinch of sugar if necessary, then continue to simmer for a further 10 minutes, without the lid, until the sauce is well reduced – you want it to be fairly thick.

Preheat the oven to 200C Fan/180C/Gas 6.

Butterfly the chicken then put between two sheets of cling film and flatten slightly with a rolling pin. Season the chicken with salt and black pepper. Mix the Parmesan with the breadcrumbs, oregano and a few finely chopped basil leaves. Put half the flour onto a plate and season. Beat one of the eggs in a bowl and spread half the Parmesan mixture on another plate.

Dip each chicken breast in the flour and dust off any excess, then dip into the egg. Coat the eggy chicken in the breadcrumb & Parmesan mixture – pressing it firmly onto the chicken. Repeat this again with the next chicken breast. Now you may need to start the process again with the rest of the ingredients on fresh plates. Arrange the coated chicken on a baking tray and drizzle with a little olive oil, then bake for 12 to 15 minutes or until just cooked through. Remove from the oven but leave the oven on.

To finish the dish you will need a large shallow oven dish that can take all 4 chicken breasts in a single layer. Cut the remaining garlic clove in half and rub the dish all over with it. Spread the tomato sauce over the base of the dish, place the chicken on top and arrange the mozzarella over the chicken so it’s mostly covered. Bake in the oven for 15-20 minutes or until the mozzarella is melted and browned. Scatter some basil leaves over the top before serving.

(Original recipe from The Hairy Bikers Chicken & Egg by Si King & Dave Myers, Orion Publishing Co., 2017.)

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I think Jamie’s Italy might be our favourite Jamie book – it’s without a doubt the one we’ve cooked the most out of. This is a super way to use up aubergines which are bang in season at the moment. Jamie says this is a side dish but we served it as a main with some garlic bread and next time we’ll serve a green salad too. The revelation for us was to barbecue (or grill) the aubergines to avoid the oiliness you so often get with this dish.

Jamie’s Aubergine Parmigiana – to serve 6 as a side dish or 4 as a main

  • 3 large firm aubergines
  • olive oil
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 1 clove of garlic, finely sliced
  • 1 heaped tsp dried oregano
  • 2 x 400g tins of good-quality plum tomatoes
  • a little wine vinegar
  • a large handful of basil
  • 4 large handfuls of freshly grated Parmesan
  • 2 handfuls of dried breadcrumbs (we used Panko)
  • a little fresh oregano, leaves chopped
  • 1 x 150g ball of buffalo mozzarella
Slice the aubergine into 1cm thick slices and set aside. Get the barbecue (or griddle pan) really hot. Meanwhile put some olive oil into a large pan and put onto a medium heat. Add the onion, garlic and dried oregano and cook for 10 minutes, until the onion is soft and the garlic has started to colour. Break up the tomatoes and add to the onion, garlic and oregano. Give it all a stir and cover and simmer slowly for 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, barbecue the aubergines until lightly charred, in batches. When the tomato sauce is reduced, season it carefully with salt, pepper and a tiny bit of wine vinegar, and add the basil.

Put a small layer of tomato sauce is an earthenware dish, then a thin scattering of Parmesan, followed by a single layer of aubergines. Repeat until the ingredients are used, finishing with a little sauce and a good sprinkle of Parmesans. Tear the mozzarella over the top. Bake the dish at 190°C/375°F/gas 5 for half an hour until golden and bubbling.

Nice!

(Original recipe from Jamie’s Italy published by Penguin Group, 2005)

Wine suggestion: a great way to match food and wine is to look at where the food comes from … in this case Northern Italy so a nice Barbera d’Asti would work a treat.

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